Get in the Simulwatch - Neon Genesis Evangelion [End of Eva - 21/7]

Neil.T

Titan
Picking up a few miscellaneous things here. 🙂

I'm sure a lot of people have heard of Freud and know what he did, but not have a deeper understanding.
That's of course very true. But, given those character naming choices, I just get the sense that Anno must've already had some kind of interest in the field of psychology even before Gunbuster.

I can’t remember offhand, were there ever any actual scenes of intimacy between them? I can only recall the shot of Gendo kissing Ritsuko’s mother, while she looks on.
No, there are none. The first real indication of is it that scene where Ritsuko tells Gendo: "Why don't you just have your way with me? Just like you did that time." (My own translation of the Japanese dialogue.)

In the flashback scene between Gendo and Naoko, it's her who initiates the kiss, but it doesn't look to me like he responds.

poor Kensuke would never have been in the running after all (although I believe one of the later non-canon games did finally feature him as a pilot).
Off the top of my head, that's "Girlfriend of Steel 2nd". I think it's Unit-04 he pilots. I'm not sure whether the design for it was made especially for the game, or whether it used an existing depiction of the unit. 🤔
(It's never seen in the anime.)

I’d also like to look more at the games before we do End, but that’ll depend a lot on how the time goes.
I'd like you to look more at the games too, Prof. This thread will still be here even after the simulwatch, and there's our multi-purpose Evangelion thread as well. 🙂
 

Neil.T

Titan
Episode 26

In the year 2016, this is the completion, the restoration of what man's mind has lost. Instrumentality continues. However, there is not enough time (nor budget left) to show the entire process. Therefore, for now (until The End of Evangelion gets made), we will examine one mind, that of the boy Shinji Ikari.

IMG_20190710_214935773.jpg
Evangelion in a nutshell?
 

WMD

Cardcaptor
I'd have watched a series of that as a spin-off. 😁
I believe there's a manga that actually does this.

I've just had a look and it seems only second hand copies are available but managed to order all 6 volumes for £39 hopefully they're in alright nick.

On a side note I just wana say how much I've enjoyed the shows OP. It's a great tune that hooks me in everytime and is never boring. Also the visuals are dense with information and yet at the same time spoil nothing about the show!
 

Neil.T

Titan
I've just had a look and it seems only second hand copies are available but managed to order all 6 volumes for £39 hopefully they're in alright nick.
That's Angelic Days, yeah?

On a side note I just wana say how much I've enjoyed the shows OP. It's a great tune that hooks me in everytime and is never boring. Also the visuals are dense with information and yet at the same time spoil nothing about the show!
I never skipped the opening once during this simulwatch; it's so good. Just as you say, it gives a great showcase of all the individual components of the story but, yes, they're all out of context, so they're teasers rather than spoilers. 😀
Although, interestingly, the shot of Unit-01 with wings is not realised until EoE.

I've read that the Platinum Edition video uses an extended versions of the opening, containing glimpses of things like Adam as it was discovered by the Katsuragi Expedition. I'm gonna look for it online.


Today I want to watch Death & Rebirth. I'm keen to see the cuts they were redrawn for the first part, and then maybe try to spot some of the differences between the second part and EoE. 😃


Before that, though...
Theres a quick frame of Misato shot dead at one point and wondering how to interpret it.
I rewatched episodes 25 and 26 yesterday to look at exactly where that is in the story. It's during the part where Gendo explains what Instrumentality is. Still not sure what I can read into it. Something might occur to me some other time.

I was marvelling at the closing stages of episode 25 again, too. Lights go on to show that Shinji and Misato are next to Asuka, all three of them positioned on a stage. The view changes to a shot looking out at the audience: it's Shinji, and then Misato is revealed to be standing next to him as she answers his question: "What is this?" And then that unsettling organ music starts as the rest of the cast get involved. It's so good!

I think I've always seen episodes 25 and 26 as a pair, and this partly explains why, even after watching them again, I'm still struggling to recall whether Gendo's explanation is in 25 or 26*. This is probably also why I accidentally posted a screenshot of episode 26 in my episode 25 post! Oops. 😅

They're so dense, though, those two episodes! For all their minimal and recycled animation, there's a lot to take in.

*EDIT: I've remembered now. It's in 25, because the cut is reused in 26 with different dialogue. 😉
 
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WMD

Cardcaptor
That's Angelic Days, yeah?

Yeah that's right.

Today I want to watch Death & Rebirth.

I dont have that one do will have to wait until EoE now. Guessing that's at the weekend?

They're so dense, though, those two episodes!

Dense is right. So much to pay attention to and not just the dialogue. Even with the simplified animation there are so many quick cuts!
 

Mr L

Great Teacher
Episode 25 & 26

  • Sooo... Soooooooooo Kingdom Hearts...
  • Now the series has decided to go on an existential philosophical tangent.
  • The budget cutting is so severe that certain scenes are starting to resemble an artsy low-budgey play, people standing in darkness with spotlights and all.
  • If this were made today, those 'hate' comments through the phone would be tweets.
  • A world of freedom with nothing tying you down? Ia this future brexiteers keep promising us?
  • Shinji should have a hand mark scarred into his face by now.
  • Ok. If Netflix wants more Eva content, if they want to adapt the manga spin-off set in this slice of life world, I'm game.
  • So I'm gathering the writer subscribes to the idea of reincarnation by means of a multiverse? I mean, I find it preferable to a heaven & hell.
  • Sorry we couldn't wrap things up here guys but hey, tune in for season 2 in 1997!
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Episode 23 & 24 again

This time around, I was particularly keen to note the changes in the script for the Netflix version.

In any case, we get more cat symbolism near the start. Given how coldly Ritsuko delivers the line 'the cat is dead', (not my cat, at least not on Netflix), I did wonder if this could be read as suggesting that Ritsuko was working for the same organisation Kaji was - perhaps 'grandma' is the cat-loving handler we saw earlier in the series. I suppose it's unlikely? Ritsuko still seems loyal to Gendo at this point and there's little reason to believe the scene was not in chronological order with the surrounding ones. While it may have been intended to create ambiguity, I feel that scene is probably meant to be taken literally, but positioned where it is to kill off any doubts the viewer might have about Kaji's fate. Kind of a clever device, really.

There are also some differences regarding the scene where Ritsuko is brought before SEELE. In the ADV version, SEELE comment that they need ‘a pawn to counter Ikari’ (or words to that effect), whereas in the Netflix version they ‘need a sacrificial lamb to get his attention’. The Netflix dub (although notably not their subtitles) also has the same member state ‘we do not wish to violate you any further’. Based on the phrasing in the original Japanese dialogue, I believe some people have interpreted this scene as implying that SEELE sent someone to sexually assault Ritsuko and perhaps the Netflix script lends a little weight to that, but I don’t buy it, personally. Aside from the fact that SEELE's goal is here to turn her against Gendo, it doesn’t seem like Evangelion’s style to deal in literal sexual violence - at most, perhaps this is a metaphorical stand in, given that they attempt to humiliate her by making her appear nude before them.

We also have the scene between Shinji and Kaworu in the bath house, but ultimately, I don't have anything much to contribute on that one. Do I think the Netflix translation is more literally accurate to the Japanese? Probably, yes. Do I think Khara or whoever commissioned this translation could have handled the script better to reflect how much that scene means to a great many people? Also yes.

On a lighter note, has anyone been keeping track of the poster on Misato's wall? In ep24 (and I think, at least some of the earlier episodes) it's a quasi-photographic image of a Renault Alpine A110, but in 23, it's changed to a rough sketch that looks like a completely different car - more like a Porsche 924. Clearly a sign of her deteriorating mental state and in no way a weird continuity gaff 🤔

Reading ahead a bit

I feel like the budget issue must have forced them to alter things in ways that were never originally intended which then led to a much more metafictional take on the material which, yes, I think only improved Evangelion. It's why, even though it's still a wonderful piece of animation, I consider EoE to be a bit redundant.

'Redundant' is a strong word, but I do broadly agree with this. However good the originally planned outcome might have been, I think slamming on the breaks and forcing the audience to consider the characters' mental state, made for a much richer, more original experience. The fact that EoE does exist also means people can still have that other option if they really want it though.

I know I keep harping on about it, but I will say that Nadia also sets some precedent for this late-game gear-shift.

It doesn't go into full on psycho-analysis, but the final clutch of episodes for Nadia are like a completely different series from the rest of it. That show was famously mucked around with, but the fact that it seems to flip from the vaguely steampunk trappings of Jules Verne to Yamato-style sci-fi (complete with space ship and space suits) feels totally out of left-field. I thought it was very much the same 'what happened to my giant robot show?' feeling one might get from Eva, especially as the ending sequence with the kids in their period costumes chasing a toy plane remains exactly the same all the way through.
 
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D1tchd1gger

Flame Haze
We also have the scene between Shinji and Kaworu in the bath house
The biggest controversy should be: why did they end up in the bath when Shinji said he was going to take a shower? 😅 Haven't checked the old sub/dub, but that was odd. Incidentally they take a shower in the manga, so maybe that was the original intention, but the moving water of a shower would take up time so they got in the bath instead and the line wasn't changed!
 

Neil.T

Titan
More miscellanea and links...

I did wonder if this could be read as suggesting that Ritsuko was working for the same organisation Kaji was - perhaps 'grandma' is the cat-loving handler we saw earlier in the series.
Wow, how about that? 😮
Evageeks flags up the same thing on its page on episode 23. Reference note No.2:
"There has been speculation that Ritsuko and her grandmother are speaking in code about Kaji's death during their phone conversation about the cat (see Episode 15 for more details). However, the evidence of this seems to be nowhere near sufficient."

Based on the phrasing in the original Japanese dialogue, I believe some people have interpreted this scene as implying that SEELE sent someone to sexually assault Ritsuko and perhaps the Netflix script lends a little weight to that, but I don’t buy it, personally.
I haven't heard that one before, but I wouldn't buy it either, personally. Hideaki Anno will tell you that "animation is liminal", so I think Ritsuko's nudity is there to emphasise the shame and degradation of the situation itself by seeding the image in the viewer's mind from a visual standpoint.

Very provocative suggestion, though.

The fact that EoE does exist also means people can still have that other option if they really want it though.
I must admit that I fall on the opposite side of this argument: I'm able to appreciate the TV ending to the degree that I do because EoE exists. The TV ending is my "alternative". Without EoE, the Spear of Longinus would be no more than a discarded plot element, there would be no payoff whatsoever for what "Lilith" was supposed to be, and no hint of what Rei's "purpose" is that's hinted about in episode 25. For me, EoE is vital in giving those things an actual point.

I need to go back and look up what the heck the S2 drive is as well.
Is that the Netflix phrasing of it? That's interesting, because the term I'm used to is S² "engine". (Over to Evageeks again...)
"Why the name 'engine' ['kikan' (機関) in Japanese] was applied to what is unarguably a flesh and blood organ is never stated. It appears consistent with the show's tendency to disguise the inherently biological with terms of mechanical connotation. Incidentally, written with different kanji, 器官, 'kikan' does mean 'organ', providing a bit of wordplay that doesn't translate into English."

I also noticed the EVA dumping ground. On the disc it looks like a morgue with the bodies laid out, but in the Netflix version (and manga) it's a trench with the bodies just thrown in randomly.
The trench is in the shape of this:
(And no, I haven't read the article. 😅
You'll recognise the shapes on that page from the opening credits and also from The End of Evangelion, though.)

Off the top of my head, that's "Girlfriend of Steel 2nd". I think it's Unit-04 that Kensuke pilots. I'm not sure whether the design for it was made especially for the game, or whether it used an existing depiction of the unit.
I'd seen the design in a book called "Evangelion Chronicle Illustrations" before, but here we are:
(Under the heading "Features".)


Blimey. Can I stop now? 😅
 
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D1tchd1gger

Flame Haze
Can I stop now? 😅
No 😜 As you seem to have a better grasp on Japanese what's your take on the "love v like" "controversy"?
I got the opening word of the sentence as Suki which Google Translate says is like. Also hence the famous saying "The moon is beautiful" as a round about way of saying I like/love you as moon is tsuki. This also leads credence to the argument that "Fly Me to the Moon" is more important than Netflix executives thought.
 

Neil.T

Titan
No 😜 As you seem to have a better grasp on Japanese what's your take on the "love v like" "controversy"
I got the opening word of the sentence as Suki which Google Translate says is like.
Bless ya, dude. 😉
I shall check episode 24 later and add my two cents' (for what it's) worth.
 

Neil.T

Titan
As you seem to have a better grasp on Japanese what's your take on the "love v like" "controversy"?
I got the opening word of the sentence as Suki which Google Translate says is like.
Right. How long have you got? 😅

Okay. So, let's start with the last few lines of Shinji and Kaworu's exchange in the bath.

In Japanese:

Kaworu: "Gurassu no you ni sensai da ne. Toku ni kimi no kokoro wa."

Shinji: "Boku ga?"

Kaworu: "Sou. Koui ni atae suru yo."

Shinji: "Koui...?"

Kaworu: "Suki-tte koto sa."


My own translation:

Kaworu: You're delicate like glass, aren't you? Particularly your heart.

Shinji: I am?

Kaworu: You are. I grant you my esteem.

Shinji: Es...teem?

Kaworu: It means I like you.

###

Here's how I arrive at that:

"atae suru" (usually "ataeru"): To give (esp. to someone of lower status), to bestow, to grant, to present, to award.

"koui": Good will, favour, courtesy.
I render that line of Shinji's with a hesitation because the way he draws the word out in Japanese seems to indicate that he's not entirely familiar with it.

Google adds: "In Japanese, both 'ai' (愛) and 'koi' (恋) can be roughly translated as 'love' in English."

###

"Suki", by definition, means "like". To use it so directly, though, conveys a depth beyond that.

However, Kaworu's line in the old ADV dub is: "I'm saying I love you."
That's waaay too overt, and misses all of the nuances of the Japanese, of which there are many. For example, from Evageeks:
"The new Khara translation featured in the Netflix release translated his line as 'worthy of my grace'. This might sound strange, but is not only a valid translation, it further reinforces that Kaworu seems to be talking about humanity as a whole and/or of Shinji as representative of humanity to him."
This occurred to me as well as I watched it, without ever having seen the Netflix version, so it was very interesting to then see it also crop up in that article.

###

Some other worthwhile additions here:

"Some early fansubbers misheard this as 'koi', but the scripts for this episode make it clear it is 'koui'. As for 'suki', the original ADV VHS subtitle translation gives the word as 'like', while Platinum and the English dub use 'love'. The Netflix release, translated by Khara, chose to use 'like' again. Khara's own official translator has publicly defended this change, and the ambiguity it retains from the original text."

↑Also worth pointing out is reference note #4 immediately below that. It gives an account of a conversation between two Gainax staff members that seems to indicate that the way Kaworu puts his hand on Shinji's in the finished episode was actually a misinterpretation of the original script.

Lastly, an entire analysis of the Netflix debate:
 
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Yami

Vampire Ninja
I've been binging the past few days so have finally caught up (but this is a re-watch, so none of this is new to me) and can hopefully contribute to the discussion of these episodes and EoE.

Regarding Episode 23, I find Misato's characterisation and the interpretations of it to be interesting here. I was very surprised to read that many interpret the scene where she tries to comfort Shinji as making a sexual proposition. Maybe I'm being naïve, but I didn't think there was enough there to think that her hand-on-hand action was anything more than platonic. While her mental state is obviously fragile, it's juxtaposed with her calling over Pen Pen in the next scene and I'm pretty sure that was just for a hug rather than an unexpected prequel to March of the Penguins.

Re: the Shinji/Kaworu dialogue in Ep 24, I don't speak Japanese but it seems to me, as Neil says, that there was a choice to be made and I believe that the Netflix translation was the correct decision. Kaworu's entire arc (if you can even call it that) takes place within Episode 24, and perhaps this owing to my own cynicism with the 'love at first sight' concept, but I simply don't think there's enough there for the word 'love' to be used with all of its connotations. But I also don't think the word itself matters, as its impact on Shinji is still evident - as he says later in that episode, nobody had ever said that to him before and I'm sure many (most?) first loves develop out of a sense of newness; the first experience of someone expressing a feeling towards you that you've never had before. Now, I think that what Neil posted above is accurate with regards to Kaworu's agenda; he is an angel, one that may appear human but nevertheless is not, and whether or not angels are truly sexless is subject to theological debate I just don't think it makes sense in context that he's expressing romantic love towards Shinji.
 

Neil.T

Titan
Maybe I'm being naïve, but I didn't think there was enough there to think that her hand-on-hand action was anything more than platonic.
From Evageeks:
"Shinji is devastated by Rei's death, and Misato attempts to comfort him the only way she knows, by trying to initiate a sexual encounter[4][5]. Horrified, Shinji rejects her.
. . .
References:
4. When Misato sits down on Shinji's bed, a chair in the background is strategically placed so that, from our camera angle, it looks like a large phallus protruding from Shinji's groin. As Misato sits right in front of the chair, it is quite likely that a sexual message was intended.
5. When Misato enters Shinji's room after Rei's death she says 'This is just about all I can do for you.' ADV's English dub mis-translates this as 'I want you to know that I'm here for you.' It's unclear whether they were deliberately trying to hide her sexual intent, of if this was just a flub."

Episode 23 - EvaWiki - An Evangelion Wiki - EvaGeeks.org
I've mostly learnt better than to contest too strongly the overarching conclusion that the Evageeks fan community reach on a specific topic, because they've studied it to death for years, but... well, I agree with @Yami on this one. I just can't see Misato's gesture in that scene as how it's being portrayed above. Or at least I couldn't until I found this page studying Shinji and Misato's relationship from a sexual angle, including that scene in Episode 23:
Theory and Analysis:Sexuality In Misato and Shinji's Relationship - EvaWiki - An Evangelion Wiki - EvaGeeks.org
Some of the evidence being cited in that honestly just feels like ironic, tropey anime things to me, but this is what I mean about the fine line between study and overanalysis.

Of course, there's the events of EoE to throw into the mix here, too. When you take into account how Misato chooses to "encourage" Shinji into piloting the Eva... Well, maybe we just are being naive, @Yami.

I haven't written my Episode 23' Director's Cut observations yet, but I have comparison screenshots to show, and it's interesting to note that the phallic image through use of perspective on the chair that's seen in the original version of the episode seems to have actually been removed (or at least buried at some completely subconscious level) in that later edit. I'll post them later today.

I just don't think it makes sense in context that he's expressing romantic love towards Shinji.
From Evageeks again:
"Anno has explicitly denied 'carnal feelings' on Shinji's part in an interview, one of the very few instances in which he directly explained something about Eva's plot[25].
. . .
References:
25. Interviewer: Speaking about the blushing, is it because Shinji was happy that someone said they like him?
Anno: Yes, Shinji-kun really didn’t experience carnal desire there."

Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's lines in Episode 24 - EvaWiki - An Evangelion Wiki - EvaGeeks.org
That's from Shinji's point of view rather than Kaworu's, of course, but surely still adds something to the argument centered around the tone of the scene as a whole, and the intent behind it.
 
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Yami

Vampire Ninja
Yeah, I read the EvaGeeks analysis of the so-called 'Big Irony Bomb' and totally reject it as overanalysis. As you say, the chair is removed in the director's cut of the episode and I think this is in order to stop people from reading something into the scene that wasn't intended. With regards to EoE, while it was inappropriate, I think it makes more sense in that context and while it is obviously an action that has sexual connotations it's important to point out that a kiss does not necessarily lead to sex and does not constitute an offer of sex like the scene in Episode 23 has been interpreted. I think it's important for Misato's character; as a woman she is seemingly used to having to use her body in order to be noticed* and tries the same out of desperation (plus, a double function as a goodbye I believe) in EoE which is entirely different to the bedroom context in 23.
 

Neil.T

Titan
With regards to EoE, while it was inappropriate, I think it makes more sense in that context and while it is obviously an action that has sexual connotations it's important to point out that a kiss does not necessarily lead to sex and does not constitute an offer of sex like the scene in Episode 23 has been interpreted.
Yeah, and I also think that it's very easy to take something like the kiss in EoE, which I still think is a bolt from the blue, and then go back and start trawling the preceding 26 episodes to try to find things that seem to fit the facts. I think it's worth noting, too, that Episode 25's probing of the deepest recesses of Misato's mind and of her subconscious motives focussed on Kaji and his similarities to her father. I think that is the subtext that Anno was dealing with in the series.

As you rightly point out, after being shut out by Shinji in Episode 23, Misato approaches Pen Pen, who also shuns her. This is when Misato has the realisation that it's she herself who's looking to be comforted, and I think it's that realisation that Anno was focussing on at that time — that of unintentionally projecting your own wants onto others. I think sometimes Evangelion is more linear and more straightforward than some people give it credit for.

I think it's important for Misato's character; as a woman she is seemingly used to having to use her body in order to be noticed
I think that point's very interesting, and is definitely something that merits further thought and discussion. 🙂
 

thedoctor2016

Mushi-shi
Misato's whole arc is that she confuses maternal/ familial and sexual love. Her kissing Shinji in End is because its the only way she knows to express her love.
Her not activating the chocker in 3.33 is her other way of expressing it she loves Shinji But Maternally
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Wow, how about that? 😮
Evageeks flags up the same thing on its page on episode 23. Reference note No.2:
"There has been speculation that Ritsuko and her grandmother are speaking in code about Kaji's death during their phone conversation about the cat (see Episode 15 for more details). However, the evidence of this seems to be nowhere near sufficient."

Hah! I feel strangely vindicated. Perhaps it was something they'd toyed with in an earlier draft, but ultimately decided not to pursue. Considering that it might add some weight to Ritsuko's actions in EoE, but it seems to negate her psychological breakdown towards the end of the TV run, it could even be something that was changed when it became clear that they would not get to make the original ending as initially intended. What was it you were saying about overanalysis...?

Is that the Netflix phrasing of it? That's interesting, because the term I'm used to is S² "engine". (Over to Evageeks again...)
"Why the name 'engine' ['kikan' (機関) in Japanese] was applied to what is unarguably a flesh and blood organ is never stated. It appears consistent with the show's tendency to disguise the inherently biological with terms of mechanical connotation. Incidentally, written with different kanji, 器官, 'kikan' does mean 'organ', providing a bit of wordplay that doesn't translate into English."

I'd need to go back and check, but I'm fairly sure it was 'drive' in the Netflix version, yeah. I was completely confused by that.

the so-called 'Big Irony Bomb'

Well, I've found my wrestler name.

I agree with you guys about Episode 23 though. Much as there is some room for debate about Misato's intentions in that scene, I don't think it makes sense that she would be offering to initiate a physical relationship with Shinji - she still considers herself his guardian and hasn't shown any sexual interest in him prior to this. The scene in EoE makes more sense to me, as a kind of 'kiss me, we'll never meet again' moment, given that Misato is close to death.

Regarding the dialogue in 24, without digging into that Eva Geeks article (maybe after lunch), is it not also the case that Japanese people are traditionally quite reserved about saying 'I love you' anyway? I don't claim to be an expert on societal customs, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that even couples in an established relationship are (were? maybe it's generational) more inclined to say 'I like you', even though the implication is the same.

My reading of the Shinji/Kaworu scene with the original dialogue would have been just that the lines were intended to be ambiguous, even if context implies that Kaworu does have a romantic interest in Shinji.
 

Neil.T

Titan
Well, I've found my wrestler name.
😂👍👍

###

This is interesting. I was doing a bit more digging on this:
Kaworu: "Sou. Koui ni atae suru yo."
"atae suru" (usually "ataeru"): To give (esp. to someone of lower status), to bestow, to grant, to present, to award.
I'd carelessly assumed that "atae suru" was just an alternative form of "ataeru", but it turns out it's actually a separate verb:

atae suru (与する): "To side with, to support"
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the/japanese-word-for-c09aff881266a7087e5e234de08d72d95cdb1306.html

What's confusing, though, is that I also came across this page...
https://www.tanoshiijapanese.com/dictionary/entry_details.cfm?entry_id=52607&element_id=67168&conjugation_type_id=10
... that has the same way of writing it (与し and 与する are just different forms of the same verb), but the pronunciation is different. It's given as "kumi suru" rather than "atae suru". It still gives a meaning of "bestow, give, award, impart, provide, gift" and even "godsend" to the 与 part of the verb, so I'd like to believe my translation's still in some way valid, but... it's confusing. This is sometimes how difficult it is to translate the often broader meaning of things in Japanese into English.

is it not also the case that Japanese people are traditionally quite reserved about saying 'I love you' anyway?
It is absolutely the case, yes. Out of suki "like" and ai suru "love", suki is the one most commonly used. Ai suru, apparently, is more commonly used for expressions of love translated into Japanese from Western media.

My reading of the Shinji/Kaworu scene with the original dialogue would have been just that the lines were intended to be ambiguous, even if context implies that Kaworu does have a romantic interest in Shinji.
You've hit the nail on the head there, Prof. It's what Kaworu's dialogue implies that's the important part. He honestly never said "love" out loud in the first place; that was ADV's creation. More detail under the heading "Older localisations":
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Analysis:Kaworu%27s_lines_in_Episode_24#Older_localisations
 
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